China Building 20 Warships Per Year in 17 Shipyards – Del Toro

China Warships
China Warships

China is building at least 20 warships a year in 17 shipyards and is expanding its naval fleet at a rate the United States is not matching and does not yet have the financial resources to compete with, Secretary of the Navy Carlos Del Toro said on Thursday.

“China has 17 shipyards: Last year they built 20 warships [and] this year they’re building another 20 ships,” Del Toro told the Aspen Security Forum 2021. “I’m concerned we need to build more ships. …We need to increase resources 3% to 5% over inflation. We’ re raising the alarm [to Congress].”

Del Toro expressed confidence that Congress was in the process of recognizing the challenge that China’s maritime expansion posed to the United States and that it would approve increased appropriations, including the building of more destroyers and adapting the current Zumwalt class warships to carry hypersonic weapons.

“I’m quite confident we will be seeing multi-year procurements in support of us building DDGs [destroyers] in the future. … Major investments we are making on hypersonic missile tubes on the Zumwalt class of ships… represents a formidable deterrent to China,” he said.

China was now the most significant pacing threat facing the US Navy and was therefore “the number one threat that we have to pay attention to,” Del Toro, who took office in August, told the forum.

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